As the holy month of Ramadan nears its end, activities at Iftar tents around Qatar are set to conclude after providing free meals to thousands of people over the past few weeks.
The beneficiaries – mostly expatriate workers – have expressed gratitude to the organisers of Iftar tents for their generosity.
Group Iftar tents, sponsored by charitable organisations as well as companies and individuals, can be found across the country. Varying in size, with some able to host hundreds of people, the tents are usually located in places that can be easily accessed by large groups.
“We always get a warm reception and good quality food at these tents. I reach the place almost half an hour before sunset for Iftar and enjoy the meal with others, whether I know them or not. The tent has a friendly atmosphere,” said an Asian worker, who attended an Iftar tent for the first time.
An Arab expatriate said group Iftar tents were a key aspect of Ramadan in the region and these are marked by an atmosphere of philanthropy.
“Almost all people visiting Iftar tents are expatriates from different nationalities. The tents help bring together people from different backgrounds as they enjoy the meal. This enhances brotherly feelings and also provides them with a sense of togetherness, compensating to some extent for what they miss by staying away from family and home,” he said.
As the month of fasting is about to end, most people who have benefited from Iftar tents this year say it has been “a positive and good experience”.
“It was a nice experience. One of my friends took me to a nearby tent one evening and I was embarrassed at first. However, I gradually felt comfortable as everybody was friendly and welcoming,” said another expatriate who described the initiative as good community work.
Some of the organisers gave away the meals in packs so that food is not wasted and the extra boxes could be taken back.
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